Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Other Oscar Fashion

These were Academy Award looks I wasn't very fond of. Sorry ladies.

I like Rooney Mara's makeup, but her hair and dress didn't work for me.

For the record, I do not think there was a nip slip, but I still didn't like the dress.

I liked Melissa McCarthy's hair and makeup, but not the dress, especially the way the sleeves were attached.

The bottom of this dress was a hot mess.

Bernice Bejo is so beautiful in The Artist but she did not look it on the red carpet. I am not a fan of her hair color and I thought this dress aged her so much.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscar Fashion

Let me sum up the last week for you. I got sick. I got better for one day, but somehow managed to get Chuk sick (amazing since he has the strongest immune system of anyone I've ever met.) He then passed the cold back to me. Now, we're both sick. Bad times.

Anyway, let's have some frivolity. These were some of the looks I liked at the Academy Awards.

Better without the coat.

I wanted to see this without the jacket too.

This reminded me of a Jennifer Lopez dress from a few years ago.

I think my two absolute favorites were Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Academy Awards Picks

I have a little tradition with myself that after the Academy Award nominees are announced, I try to see as all of the best picture nominees. It's become next to impossible to do since they've increased the number of nominees in the best picture category from five to up to ten, but I still try to see as many as I can. It's a fun little thing to do since I see almost no movies (in the theater) all year and then I go to the movies multiple times a week for a couple of weeks. It's a movie marathon.

Here are my thoughts on this year's nominees:

The Artist wasn't a novel plot line. This same story has been told over and over again in countless movies. I think the reason The Artist is getting more critical acclaim than other similar movies is because it's in black and white and it's silent. Both of which I think are gimmicks. Having said that, I did like the movie. I thought it was cute and I loved the dancing and costumes.

The Descendants was hard for me to watch for the first half. I think it's because I hated the two daughters and that random friend so much. I wanted to smack them all. I gradually warmed up to the movie though. The kids all became less annoying and I was able to focus more on George Clooney's character's acceptance of and decisions regarding the course of his life. I really liked the way this movie explored how complicated family life can be and the struggles one faces in coming to terms with the death of a loved one who wasn't perfect. There is a mixture of profound grief and relief, the latter which I think is often very taboo to talk about, but is no less real.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was one I didn't get a chance to see. Jonathan Safron Foer's work is sometimes a little too kooky for me, but I am a big fan of the director, Stephen Daldry, so I think I would have liked this movie.

The Help was good, if somewhat overrated. It was well-acted and I felt invested in the characters. I didn't like that white people had to save the day and I thought some of the roles were overly archetypal and stereotypical.

Hugo looked dumb to me and I had no desire to see it. I don't tend to go for magical or kids' fantasy type movies. Personal bias.

Midnight in Paris was another one I intentionally skipped. I've never seen a Woody Allen movie I liked, ever. Also, am I still the only person who thinks he's a dirty, creepy old man?

Moneyball was a surprising hit for me. I'm not a big sports fan, but I thought the storyline was great. I didn't think the side story about Brad Pitt's character's daughter and ex-wife added anything to the film, but it was easy enough to ignore.

I had never even heard of Tree of Life until the Academy Award nominees were announced. I tried to rent it from redbox on Thursday but they were all out. Bummer. Everyone I know who has seen this movie has described it as boring.

I didn't see War Horse either. Again, the trailers didn't make the movie seem appealing to me and (I can't believe I'm going to admit this) the Saturday Night Live sketch about it made me want to see it even less.

So even though I've seen fewer than half of the Best Picture nominees this year (pregnancy is slowing me down!) I'm going to be rooting for:
Moneyball for Best Picture
George Clooney for Lead Actor
Meryl Streep for Lead Actress (I haven't seen Iron Lady, but I'm dying to) though I think Glenn Close is probably fantastic in Albert Noobs and I really want to see that movie too
No pick for Supporting Actor
Melissa McCarthy for Supporting Actress
Moneyball for Adapted Screenplay
Bridesmaids for Original Screenplay

I'm also rooting for the Academy to go back to just five picks for Best Picture. They have NINE movies competing in the category and of the ones I've seen, I didn't think any were exceptional. I would describe all four that I saw as good but not great. Don't they know even matinees are now $10? They're trying to bankrupt us. (I try to see all the movies I can from Redbox or Netflix, but if I do go to the movie theater I buy discounted tickets from Costco. They're "only" $7.50.)

What movies did you like this year? What didn't you like?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mending Sheets

Out of nowhere, my favorite sheets developed three holes. (Perhaps it's all my nighttime tossing and turning?) I have a bit of a sheet fetish, so there was no way I was going to throw out my favorites. Also, sheets are expensive. I've done other basic mending before and this was pretty much the same process.

At first I tried just sewing (using a whip stitch? I'm not great with stitch names) the two sides of the tear together, but the fabric was too worn, so I cut out my stitches and used some iron on hem tape to reinforce the back of the tears with another little scrap of fabric. Then I re-sewed the two of the holes with the "whip stitch".

I didn't really love how it turned out because the fabric was a little puckered and it looked like the stitches could pull out.

With the final tear, I reinforced the back of the sheet with scrap fabric and the hem tape, but then used a satin stitch to cover the tear. I was much happier with how this turned out. It didn't create any wrinkles in the fabric and it seems like a much stronger repair.

Monday, February 20, 2012

In Praise of the Boring Weekend

Last Saturday, Chuk decided to teach himself to make pretzels. He spent most of the weekend perfecting his technique.

Then, this most recent Saturday night, he suggested we go shopping for lamp shades. We debated the merits of cream versus white shades at length. We went to three different stores and ultimately bought nothing.

I've only been married for a couple of years now, but apparently these are what my weekends are going to look like from now on...and I couldn't be more pleased about it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Got a Valentine

Yesterday, I got a Valentine in the mail from my favorite two year old. So sweet! I love how she always clasps her little hands together whenever she is posing.

I hope you get a sweet nothing from someone special in your life too.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quick and Easy Valentine's Garland

I did a little multitasking during my afternoon TV time on Friday. Melissa, who blogs at I Still Love You, is always writing about how fun and easy it is to sew paper (for instance here, here, and here) so I wanted to give it a try too.

I made a little template by free-handing a heart on a piece of scrap paper and then folded up four pieces of printer paper so I could cut out a bunch of hearts at once. I was going to do all white, but then I decided I wanted a little color in my garland too, so I cut more hearts out of a single piece of red construction paper.

I stacked up all the hearts and took them to my sewing machine, which was already loaded up with white thread from this project. I just fed the hearts into the machine one at a time, trying (not always sucessfully) not to overlap them so the garland would still have some movement. Sewing all of them took about five minutes, and that was with me going slowly. Then I taped the garland to the ceiling between my kitchen and dining area.

I like this project because I had all the materials on hand so it was free, the mistakes I made are not noticable, and it makes a big statement for very little effort.

Are you doing any seasonal decorating? Have you ever sewn paper?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fruit Salad Two Ways

We had breakfast for dinner one night so I made a big fruit salad for two. (Blueberries were on sale for $2 a pint! Unheard of in this part of the country.)

A few days later I asked Chuk to make me a snack and this is what he came up with. He's a manly man, but he sure does love to style food. So cute.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine's Day Planning

I know lots of people think Valentine's Day is dumb, but I don't. I like the whole fancy dinner and exchanging gifts hoopla. The other day I was online looking for a restaurant for us to go to Valentine's Day and was feeling kind of discouraged because nothing was looking that great to me. I wanted to go somewhere new, but none of the restaurants jumped out at me. Chuk walked in the room and I asked if he even wanted to go out to dinner for Valentine's Day. Turns out, he wasn't that excited about going out either.

So we decided that this year we're not going to exchange gifts and we're going cook a fancy dinner together (and by "fancy dinner" I mean not what we have everyday, not necessarily something actually fancy like lobster and filet mignon) and then play a game or watch a movie. I'm really excited about the plan. It feels so right for where we are at this point in our life.

I've spent $2 on Valentine's Day this year. I got the card for free after seeing this deal. The heart shaped box of chocolates and the package of his favorite candy each cost a buck.

What, if anything, are you planning for Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl

Chuk and I have had a Super Bowl party together every year since the beginning of our relationship. (We had only been dating two or three months when we had our first one.) I usually make some kind of themed feast and we always have football donuts from Krispy Kreme.

This year, I wasn't feeling well so Chuk cleaned the whole apartment, did four (or was it five?) loads of laundry, picked up the donuts and made pizzas from scratch while I rested all day long. By the end of the game, I was exhausted from all that hard work I did. Pathetic, I know. I think we're done with having people over until after this baby is born. It's just too much for us.

Anyway, did you watch the game? Nobody in our group had strong feelings about who they wanted to win, and I felt that made it a bit more boring than usual. Though I'm not a big Madonna fan, I thought her half-time show was good. I was disappointed by the commercials. None of them were that funny and funny is what I want in Super Bowl commercials. What did you think?